KUALA LUMPUR: Harimau Malaya captain Aidil Zafuan Abdul Radzak is ready to share his experience with young players if they are called up to wear the national jersey in the crucial 2022 World Cup-2023 Asian Cup second round qualifiers in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in June.
Aidil is impressed with the quality playing skills displayed by several young players such as the sensational young striker Luqman Hakim Shamsudin who is now with the Belgian club, KV Kortrijk, as well as two rising stars of Johor Darul Ta’zim (JDT) team, Ramadhan Saifullah and Arif Aiman Hanapi.
“In terms of experience, they may be lacking and we, as seniors, may ‘guide’ them with what we have gained thus far, ” said the 33-year-old Aidil after receiving the Covid-19 vaccine under the National Immunisation Programme in Putrajaya recently.
On Monday, head coach Tan Cheng Hoe said he had identified several new faces after shortlisting 38 players in preparation for the challenge in the UAE.
Luqman and Ramadhan are likely to be called up as they were among new faces picked to undergo the national squad’s centralised training camp in Johor in March.
Aidil, who has made over 80 appearances with the national squad since 2008, said they would be able to assess where they stood based on their performances in the two upcoming warm-up matches against Kuwait on May 23 and Bahrain (May 28). Based on the FIFA rankings, Bahrain are currently ranked 99th with Kuwait at148th and Malaysia at 153rd.
Malaysia will face host UAE on June 3, before their matches against Vietnam (June 11), Thailand (June 15) in the Group G title race, to hunt for an automatic slot to the finals of the 2023 Asian Cup and advance to the third round of the qualifying campaign to compete for a slot at the 2022 World Cup. — Bernama